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The Retail Industry Leaders Association is remaining neutral "at this point in time" in a congressional debate over possible changes to U.S. shipping regulation.
RILA, which represents dozens of big-box retailers, including Lowe's, Home Depot, Gap, AutoZone and Ikea, did not sign a Sept. 14 letter from 30 trade associations to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., seeking further deregulation of ocean shipping.
Groups, including the National Retail Federation, the National Industrial Transportation League, the Agriculture Transportation Coalition and the American Apparel and Footwear Association, urged Oberstar in the letter to press ahead with legislation that would draw new limits on carrier antitrust immunity.
"We're staying neutral at this point in time," said Kelly Kolb, vice president of supply chain policy at RILA.
No legislation to amend the 1998 Ocean Shipping Reform Act has yet been introduced, but word that the Oberstar's committee was drafting legislation has galvanized shipper groups opposed to antitrust immunity for ocean.
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